The president has forced out Attorney General Jeff Sessions less than 24 hours after the midterm elections. In his resignation letter, Sessions made it clear that the resignation came at the request of the president. While Sessions was an early supporter of Trump, the two were at odds over Sessions recusing himself from oversight of the Russia probe. Democrats will now head House committees that can probe the Trump’s finances including tax returns and act on Mueller’s Russia investigation.
- Is this the first step in firing special counsel Robert Mueller?
- Is it a conflict of interest if the new Attorney General does not recuse themselves?
- Did Sessions’ recusal protect him from being indicted as a private citizen?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump forced out his attorney general on Wednesday and threatened to fight back if Democrats use their new majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to launch investigations into his administration and finances.
Trump came out swinging a day after his Republicans lost control of the House, and followed through on repeated threats to remove Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions, a 71-year-old former U.S. senator from Alabama, was an early and loyal supporter of Trump but drew his fury when he recused himself from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 White House campaign.
His departure was the first in what could be a string of high-profile exits as Trump reshapes his team to gird for his own 2020 re-election effort. The Republican president named Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general and said he would nominate someone for the job soon.
Trump’s move prompted sharp criticism from Democrats, who said he was seeking to undermine the Russia probe.